When you climb to the top of the obstacle that is blocking your view, you are able to look at your situation from a different perspective.
I overheard my oldest two kids moaning as they surveyed the huge laundry pile. I’d been out of town for several days and everything was a little backed up.
“C’mon,” I encouraged, “Just grab the big stuff first.” I directed them to grab the tablecloths, sheets and towels, fold them and put them away. Within five minutes, with all the “big stuff” put away they were happily tackling the still sizable but now workable heap.
With any task, knowing the “big stuff” to move first is essential. It’s those items that provide momentum for the rest of the work to come.
In a classroom where behavior management is an issue I look for and ask about evidence of three pieces. Is there a quiet signal that works? Are there written behavioral expectations to refer to? Is there time for children to talk and move? If not, those are the sheets, tablecloths and towels that we can move first. While none of those pieces are quick fixes, it is amazing once they are out of the way what emerges as possible work.
This week we consider the needs of struggling learners. Plus more as always — enjoy!
Contributor, Choice Literacy
Heather Rader is an instructional coach in Washington State. Her Choice Literacy publications include the book Side By Side: Short Takes on Best Practice for Teachers & Literacy Leaders and the DVD On the Same Page. You can find her “Coach to Coach” blog at www.heatherrader.com.
Free for All
[For sneak peeks at our upcoming features, quotes and extra links, follow Choice Literacy on Twitter: @ChoiceLiteracy or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChoiceLiteracy or Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/choiceliteracy/]
Here are two features from the archives with innovative approaches for working with struggling learners.
Struggling readers often do a lot of word work, which can be rote and mind-numbing. Grouping Struggling Students for Word Study is a case study by Shari Frost of a more thoughtful approach:
Shari’s case study is an excerpt from her new Choice Literacy book Rethinking Intervention in Grades 3-6. Details and purchasing information are available at this link:
Beth Lawson finds Research Book Clubs for Struggling Readers are a positive way to spark interest in nonfiction reading and tap into student passion:
Pernille Ripp advises teachers to Take a Moment to Celebrate the gains made by struggling learners when you meet with them one-on-one this spring:
For Members Only
A paid membership gives you access to all premium content. For details on trial and annual memberships, click here.
Katie DiCesare has wise advice for helping readers who are falling behind their peers but don’t qualify for additional services in Supporting Struggling Readers: David’s Story:
Sean Moore confers with second grader Teague in this week’s video, masterfully demonstrating how to move between instruction and celebration when conferring with a child who struggles with reading:
Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan explain why it is important to share data with parents while school is still in session in order to avoid the summer slide. This is another installment in their summer reading series:
We continue our video series of end-of-year reading interviews with sixth graders. In this installment, Ruth Shagoury asks students about reading at home and how they have changed as readers this year:
That’s all for this week!